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Phytrion
21-07-2009, 01:12
I got done reading this book a while ago, and enjoyed it quite a bit, but I have some thoughts on the story about the church. Beyond the fact that I thought it odd for the author to imply that Christianity survives for tens of thousands of years, I found the Emperor's mode of argument curious.

He makes the contention that he wants to the rid the world of religion because when you act on the basis of concept such as God, it makes the repercussions of your actions excusable - that there's no one to blame and that's a problem.

But his solution; however, was to replace that religious superstition with a crusade to unite humanity. Isn't that idea, the coming together of humankind and conquering the stars - just as separate of individual culpability as religion? If you commit a massacre in the name of reuniting humanity, does that not carry that same air as Deus Vult? Doesn't the Emperor wills it, or it is mankinds destiny create the exact same problem that the Emperor is trying to solve?

I found his method of argument really flawed, but what I'm left wondering is what the point of such a flaw was. (We can discuss the priest too, I guess, since he is pretty much a straw man and nothing more) I wonder if it wasn't to expose some of the humanity of the Emperor, that after millenia his single mindedness has it's drawbacks?

I'm just curioust to hear what other people are thinking.

Khaine's Messenger
21-07-2009, 02:20
But his solution; however, was to replace that religious superstition with a crusade to unite humanity.

In general, I'd think the idea is to turn mankind's eyes from the sky (metaphorically) to each other, to emphasize the bond one shares with one's fellow man. And all that "deal with the real" feel-good stuff. On the other hand....


Doesn't the Emperor wills it, or it is mankinds destiny create the exact same problem that the Emperor is trying to solve?

Yes. I think it's just an extension of the Emperor's own humanity coloring his vision. However, he would probably be pleased that humanity worships him, an ascended human being, over any other god. At least, he might say, he is human, and for all their claims to own the real estate of our souls, most creatures of the warp are not. All of which is up for debate.


I wonder if it wasn't to expose some of the humanity of the Emperor, that after millenia his single mindedness has it's drawbacks?

That would be my interpretation, yes.

Imperialis_Dominatus
21-07-2009, 02:23
The religion in The Last Church wasn't Christianity, but the author was certainly too blunt with the parallels.

Phytrion
21-07-2009, 02:58
No, it was Christianity. The Emperor specifically mentions crusades, and the phrase Deus Vult (the cry God wills it!). He said specifically that those were examples of "his god" to the priest.

weissengel86
21-07-2009, 03:09
I found his method of argument really flawed, but what I'm left wondering is what the point of such a flaw was. (We can discuss the priest too, I guess, since he is pretty much a straw man and nothing more) I agree, the priest was definitely a straw man.

This particular story was interesting in its own way but left me with a bad taste in my mouth. For one it was absolutely obvious to me that it wasnt an immortal emperor speaking it was an author who clearly lacks the comprehension of these types of subjects and trying to portray a "superior" and "transcendent" intellect explain his motives.

Anybody who was born in 8000 bc and lived up until the 31st millenium would not use such poor and stereotypical arguments. Especially someone who was arguably the greatest psyker in the Universe. The priest was definitely a straw man to make the emperor look wiser then he was.

I dont see how Christianity couldnt survive for tens of thousands of years in the future. There is no logical reason to suppose it will disappear. This is regardless of the validity of Christianity.

To save my head from exploding by thinking too much on this illogic I am just assuming the Emperor merely said what he said to achieve his goals. I will never believe that the Emperor's "secular truth" was anything other then a plan to weaken the chaos gods or maneuver humanity into primacy. In 40k the idea of secularism is absolutely and obviously absurd to even the most simplest of beings in that universe. Undubitably clear and utterly irrefutable proof exists for the total falsity of secularism and the Emperor would have undoubtedly of known this.

Inquisitor Engel
21-07-2009, 03:10
Indeed, it was blatantly Christianity or, at best, an amalgam of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim faiths.

Sergeant Uriel Ventris
21-07-2009, 03:25
You know, I loved the stories from the book as well, but also found the final story hard to swallow. Although everyone one BoLS thought it was just the best darned short story ever. The priest was such a ridiculous figure that it had to have been written by someone with no real knowledge of faith of any kind. Glad to see I'm not the only one who had some issues with it.

Col. Tartleton
21-07-2009, 03:25
Big E is fully aware that humans require religion. His solution? Dismiss religion, and maneuver himself in their place. This is not out of ego, but simply a wise move. If you want unquestioning followers make them think you are greater than you are. When you are as great as he is, you don't have much room to bluff. If he came out and said "Yo I'm God", people would be like "no you aren't" by dismissing religion he lowers peoples expectations of him, so that they see him as something special beyond "really powerful psychic." He says there aren't gods, and if people cling to that belief they now have nothing but the Emperor to follow.

He's also truthful, he isn't "God" and neither are the Chaos "Gods", the C'tan, or Old Ones.

They're all just really powerful beings.

Imperialis_Dominatus
21-07-2009, 04:05
Well. I reread that part and it is indeed Christianity, or something like it.

Still, I agree that the Emperor seemed to represent everything I can't stand about Dawkins-thumpers. And the priest certainly wasn't without cliche either. Heard better arguments about religion in college philosophy courses.

Geep
21-07-2009, 04:42
There's many thousands of years that have passed from the modern day to when this story is supposed to have happened- the religion of the church has obvious Christian parallels, but it can also be a completely different, as yet non-existant religion or religious sect.

I see part of the reason for the priests poor arguments to be self doubt- his religion is obviously collapsing, he knows his church can't last, and God is doing nothing- he's got to be wondering why, especially when he has seen God in person. I'm obviously giving the author a fair bit of credit with this interpretation, but it also makes the story a better read (IMO) to try and read it with this mindset.


Big E is fully aware that humans require religion. His solution? Dismiss religion, and maneuver himself in their place. This is not out of ego, but simply a wise move. I also agree with this- as the 'secret' in Mechanicus shows the Emperor isn't afraid to use religion to his own purposes. Crushing other religions first simply removes the competition. There's no evidence that the Emperor himself is against the 'illegal' worship of him that sprang up in later years. He may even have started this religion himself.

Swope
21-07-2009, 05:55
Oh my science!!

weissengel86
21-07-2009, 07:36
He's also truthful, he isn't "God" and neither are the Chaos "Gods", the C'tan, or Old Ones.

They're all just really powerful beings. But this is merely semantics. There is no reason not to logically call the Chaos "God's" a true god. Nor is it incorrect to call even the emperor a god. People need to be reminded that God does not mean omnipotent and omniscient like in the Judeo-Christian view. Nor does a god have to be unseen or unable to be explained "naturally" (Well, 40k naturally at least).

Saying the Chaos Gods arent gods but just powerful entities is like saying "fire doesnt kill people heat kills people". You are merely altering the definition of the word slightly and creating a false dichotomy.

The Chaos Gods are truly Gods and powerful entities not either/or. Saying they aren't is not proving so but just arguing the definition of a word.

Which reminds me of something that you can easily notice in 40k. All of the religions are in fact correct and unquestionably so. The Imperial Cult basically has mountains of evidence for their faith. The Soul exists without doubt and so does the emperor. The followers of Chaos obviously have no doubt in their gods existence as they can literally see them or see their handiwork with a minimum of effort. In fact the enemies of each religion dont doubt their validity either. No Eldar or Chaos Marine or Imperial citizen would ever doubt the existence of the Chaos Gods, or the Emperor, or the Eldar gods especially Khaine.

All one has to do is point to the countless Imperial saints or Chaos daemons etc.

Too bad there isnt that much unambiguity in reality :p

borithan
21-07-2009, 07:36
No, it was Christianity. The Emperor specifically mentions crusades, and the phrase Deus Vult (the cry God wills it!). He said specifically that those were examples of "his god" to the priest.It was not Christianity, but some religion which is descended from it, and probably all the monotheistic relgions. The author just used Christian history as the example because they were the references that were probably going to mean the most to the reader, and the ones he probably knew most about himself.

The arguments by both the characters were... flawed, but I liked the story overall, as it revealed the Emperor to be what he would need to be to do what he did, ie a fanatic. The whole point was to show that he had exactly the same flaws that he was blaming others for, ie, the belief that he was right, and the belief that that gave him the right to do horrendous things. Now the Emperor may have more reason to believe he is right, but that doesn't stop him being a fanatic.

ryng_sting
21-07-2009, 07:47
There's no evidence that the Emperor himself is against the 'illegal' worship of him that sprang up in later years. He may even have started this religion himself.

Who prosecuted Lorgar, and why...?

grissom2006
21-07-2009, 08:05
pretty sure this got covered in another thread in here

Geep
21-07-2009, 09:01
Who prosecuted Lorgar, and why...?
Maybe the timing was wrong, or the fact it was a marine doing the worship. The Emperor's plans could easily be as convoluted and twisted as Tzeentch's. Or maybe he has just failed miserably.

Leftenant Gashrog
21-07-2009, 10:57
Maybe the timing was wrong, or the fact it was a marine doing the worship.

The latter, the Word Bearers IA article stated:

"When the Emperor took note of Lorgar's slow advance across the stars, he personally reproached his Primarch. He informed Lorgar that his purpose was not for faith, but for battle. The true mission of the Space Marines was to reconquer and unify the galaxy under the banner of Imperium, not to waste precious time and resources in vast displays of fealty and piety."

Tonberry
21-07-2009, 11:04
I found his method of argument really flawed, but what I'm left wondering is what the point of such a flaw was. (We can discuss the priest too, I guess, since he is pretty much a straw man and nothing more) I wonder if it wasn't to expose some of the humanity of the Emperor, that after millenia his single mindedness has it's drawbacks?

I don't have the exact quote to hand, but the whole, ''I'm different becaue I know I'm right'' thing is there to show that the Emperor is far from perfect, he is infact an arrogant and bloodthirsty tyrant - the imperium aren't the good guys.

DantesInferno
21-07-2009, 15:32
Still, I agree that the Emperor seemed to represent everything I can't stand about Dawkins-thumpers. And the priest certainly wasn't without cliche either. Heard better arguments about religion in college philosophy courses.

This may be a minor nitpick, but one thing that springs to mind is that the Terra of M30 would not offer many college philosophy courses. When the Emperor conquered the planet, it was a post-apocalyptic Mad Max scenario of techno-barbarians vying for the scarce resources.

I can't see why we really should expect the inhabitants of Terra in M30 to demonstrate a modern level of philosophical/theological debate. And to some extent, that goes for the Emperor too. Living a few millennia without any form of philosophical stimulation would leave anyone a bit rusty when it comes to rigorous debate...

baphomael
21-07-2009, 18:35
This may be a minor nitpick, but one thing that springs to mind is that the Terra of M30 would not offer many college philosophy courses. When the Emperor conquered the planet, it was a post-apocalyptic Mad Max scenario of techno-barbarians vying for the scarce resources.

I can't see why we really should expect the inhabitants of Terra in M30 to demonstrate a modern level of philosophical/theological debate. And to some extent, that goes for the Emperor too. Living a few millennia without any form of philosophical stimulation would leave anyone a bit rusty when it comes to rigorous debate...

Hell, after a year out of uni (studying philosophy and politics) I feel a bit rusty.

But yea, aside from that, my philosophy of religion tutor would have *demolished* the Emperor, as depicted in tales of heresy.

will564752
21-07-2009, 18:44
The Religion was NOT Christianity. The only real parallel was that they were both monotheistic. When the Emperor talks about the Crusades and stuff and states "Your God" he could have just been collectively refering to the God(s) of all Religions, for as they don't exist (according to him), there is no point differentiating between them.

I thought the arguments used both for and against Religion/Gods were almost child-like. They could have been much more in-depth and relavent. All it would have took was to read up on a bit of Philosophy and Theology for a while, and more intrecate arguments could have been established.

On a side not, The Emperor was certainly a vile and ruthless tyrant. I loved the bit in the story when the Emperor states that without him and the subsequent Great Crusade humanity would become extinct, and the Priest returns with (something along the lines off) 'Maybe it would have been better that way.'

Gen.Steiner
21-07-2009, 22:08
I'd rather follow a vile and tyrannical despot that strove to unite humanity to save it from extinction than a vile and tyrannical despot that strove to glorify any god(s)...

baphomael
21-07-2009, 22:57
The Religion was NOT Christianity. The only real parallel was that they were both monotheistic. When the Emperor talks about the Crusades and stuff and states "Your God" he could have just been collectively refering to the God(s) of all Religions, for as they don't exist (according to him), there is no point differentiating between them.

I thought the arguments used both for and against Religion/Gods were almost child-like. They could have been much more in-depth and relavent. All it would have took was to read up on a bit of Philosophy and Theology for a while, and more intrecate arguments could have been established.

On a side not, The Emperor was certainly a vile and ruthless tyrant. I loved the bit in the story when the Emperor states that without him and the subsequent Great Crusade humanity would become extinct, and the Priest returns with (something along the lines off) 'Maybe it would have been better that way.'


To be fair, I doub BL publishing would be too bothered to print a hypothetical philsophical dialogue on the subject of Philosophy of Religion :p


I'd rather follow a vile and tyrannical despot that strove to unite humanity to save it from extinction than a vile and tyrannical despot that strove to glorify any god(s)...


I dunno, depends on if those gods are real and their nature. Cant argue with Divine Right.

Sergeant Uriel Ventris
21-07-2009, 23:32
I dunno, depends on if those gods are real and their nature. Cant argue with Divine Right.

Word.

I had this interesting discussion with my friend about how if the Chaos gods are the only "real" gods in the 40K universe, then you'd be a fool not to follow them. Much like if you believe in Christianity/Islam/Judaism/Cthulhuism or whatever you'd strive to follow their god(s).

Although Games Workshop likes to confuse things by making the Emperor kinda divine, but not really divine. I guess their story is the universe has just kind of always been around, and then the gods kind of manifested.

Anyway, I just wish they would have put a little more thought into that last story.

Gen.Steiner
21-07-2009, 23:43
I dunno, depends on if those gods are real and their nature. Cant argue with Divine Right.

Well, you can. :) After all, if god exists, and it's proven, belief and faith are irrelevant; thus religion becomes little more than science.

On that further point, belief in the speculative godhood of the Emperor is the closest thing to religion in the 40Kiverse. :)

Condottiere
22-07-2009, 04:59
That's certainly faith.

And since the mechanics of divinity operate on the principle that if enough people believe you are a god, you become one, the Emperor, if he wasn't one before, is certainly one now.

Tehkonrad
22-07-2009, 06:02
The emperor was indeed a tyrant, but the sort of tyrant YOU CAN GET BEHIND!


*gay subtext*

Phytrion
22-07-2009, 06:02
Certainly, I just wish that the story gave us a little more insight on the Emperor's "true" views on religion and the value of faith rather than just have him talk down to the old priest using really simple arguments.

Imperialis_Dominatus
22-07-2009, 06:41
This may be a minor nitpick, but one thing that springs to mind is that the Terra of M30 would not offer many college philosophy courses. When the Emperor conquered the planet, it was a post-apocalyptic Mad Max scenario of techno-barbarians vying for the scarce resources.

I can't see why we really should expect the inhabitants of Terra in M30 to demonstrate a modern level of philosophical/theological debate. And to some extent, that goes for the Emperor too. Living a few millennia without any form of philosophical stimulation would leave anyone a bit rusty when it comes to rigorous debate...

Yeah, but all he really argued was "lol you haz no evidences" and "fnar fnar teh religious are all teh evilz cuz some of them done it!" He could have, at the very least, gone for the basic logical problem of evil, but nooooooooo!

...alright, I see your point. Maybe he didn't bring out the heavy hitters because he didn't believe he'd need them against some little-man priest who was going to get his "miracles" kinda pawned in the end anyway...


The Religion was NOT Christianity. The only real parallel was that they were both monotheistic. When the Emperor talks about the Crusades and stuff and states "Your God" he could have just been collectively refering to the God(s) of all Religions, for as they don't exist (according to him), there is no point differentiating between them.

I was low on sleep when I first read it (having read through all the others to get to The Last Church and After De'Shea) and that's how I interpreted it the first time. On second reading, it seems clearer that he's referring to the priest's religion.


To be fair, I doub BL publishing would be too bothered to print a hypothetical philsophical dialogue on the subject of Philosophy of Religion :p

Well, you can't say that because that's what they... tried to do with this one. You can say they can't do it with excellence and real depth.

DantesInferno
22-07-2009, 07:19
Yeah, but all he really argued was "lol you haz no evidences" and "fnar fnar teh religious are all teh evilz cuz some of them done it!" He could have, at the very least, gone for the basic logical problem of evil, but nooooooooo!

...alright, I see your point. Maybe he didn't bring out the heavy hitters because he didn't believe he'd need them against some little-man priest who was going to get his "miracles" kinda pawned in the end anyway...

My point was rather that such arguments, weak though they seem to us, may have been the best the Emperor and the priest could have come up with. Particularly considering that human civilisation on Terra in M30 was under a cloud of superstition and ignorance which makes the Imperium seem enlightened by comparison.

I mean, look at the unsophisticated arguments provided by the very early medieval theologians, just as Western civilisation was crawling out of the Dark Ages and before the texts of Aristotle and Plato had come back via the Muslim world. If the importance of learning and logical debate have been neglected for centuries, the quality of the arguments available suffers. It is perhaps no wonder, then, that the arguments of people on Terra in M30 seem flimsy to us.

massey
22-07-2009, 07:30
All evidence points to it being Christianity. Several people here have tried to dismiss that, saying that it's some generic future religion that bears only passing resemblance, but they're just making things up. Every example the Emperor uses works as a direct reference to Christianity, and there's nothing he uses that is inapplicable to it. So the people who say it's some generic nonspecified religion don't have anything to back them up.

It's like the Emperor saying to a citizen "Your President started a war in the middle east over fake nuclear weapons and a false tie to the terrorists who attacked your largest city. The world condemned this action, yet he persisted, saying 'If you're not with us, you're against us,'" and then pretending he's talking about some generic political figure and not you-know-who.

We all know what they're talking about, no need to pretend otherwise. It was done with GW's trademark sledgehammer subtlety.

Imperialis_Dominatus
22-07-2009, 07:45
My point was rather that such arguments, weak though they seem to us, may have been the best the Emperor and the priest could have come up with. Particularly considering that human civilisation on Terra in M30 was under a cloud of superstition and ignorance which makes the Imperium seem enlightened by comparison.

I mean, look at the unsophisticated arguments provided by the very early medieval theologians, just as Western civilisation was crawling out of the Dark Ages and before the texts of Aristotle and Plato had come back via the Muslim world. If the importance of learning and logical debate have been neglected for centuries, the quality of the arguments available suffers. It is perhaps no wonder, then, that the arguments of people on Terra in M30 seem flimsy to us.

Yeah, I got your point, but it cheapened the story for me when I could beat the Emperor at something (besides fathering, I think I could do that ;)).


All evidence points to it being Christianity. Several people here have tried to dismiss that, saying that it's some generic future religion that bears only passing resemblance, but they're just making things up. Every example the Emperor uses works as a direct reference to Christianity, and there's nothing he uses that is inapplicable to it. So the people who say it's some generic nonspecified religion don't have anything to back them up.

It's like the Emperor saying to a citizen "Your President started a war in the middle east over fake nuclear weapons and a false tie to the terrorists who attacked your largest city. The world condemned this action, yet he persisted, saying 'If you're not with us, you're against us,'" and then pretending he's talking about some generic political figure and not you-know-who.

We all know what they're talking about, no need to pretend otherwise. It was done with GW's trademark sledgehammer subtlety.

I swear I admitted I was wrong. I swear. :p

Ozybonza
22-07-2009, 07:49
Say what you will - I loved "The Last Church". The emporer isn'y infailable (although many in the Imperium claim him to be).

I think the story (and the rest of the HH series) does well to demostrate the argument from both sides - that the Imperium and Emporer aren't the be all and end all of humanity.

Madness_
22-07-2009, 08:06
Say what you will - I loved "The Last Church". The emporer isn'y infailable (although many in the Imperium claim him to be).I'm sorry but this is a foul, you can't misspell Emperor and claim HE is fallible in the same sentence. 5 days in the box.

Imperialis_Dominatus
22-07-2009, 09:34
You can't claim the Emperor is fallible, full stop. After your days in the box report to your local preacher for confession. Be prepared to spend ten days at that. Also, I need you to sign this disclaimer in triplicate... Administratum purposes you see.

Marshal2Crusaders
22-07-2009, 09:45
Consider that the major Abrahamic religions all worship the same God in different ways, by referencing the atrocities commuted by Jews, Christians, and Muslims the Emperor could mean any of the above Religions. Using the Christian quote to drive home his point.

will564752
22-07-2009, 10:14
All evidence points to it being Christianity. Several people here have tried to dismiss that, saying that it's some generic future religion that bears only passing resemblance, but they're just making things up. Every example the Emperor uses works as a direct reference to Christianity, and there's nothing he uses that is inapplicable to it. So the people who say it's some generic nonspecified religion don't have anything to back them up.

It's like the Emperor saying to a citizen "Your President started a war in the middle east over fake nuclear weapons and a false tie to the terrorists who attacked your largest city. The world condemned this action, yet he persisted, saying 'If you're not with us, you're against us,'" and then pretending he's talking about some generic political figure and not you-know-who.

We all know what they're talking about, no need to pretend otherwise. It was done with GW's trademark sledgehammer subtlety.

Likewise you dont have any proof to state it is Christianity. Only subtle hints, which can easily be applied to other religions.

I still stand by my point that it is certainley not Christianity. As someone above said as Islam, Judasim and Christianity all worship the same God, why couldnt it have been Islam? (Especially as I never read any reference to Jesus!!) I got the feeling that the Priest didnt even fully understand the Religion and simply refered to his 'creator' several times. We also know that this priest 'got' religion following that battle when he seen a golden/angelic face staring down at him (which obviously turned out to be the Emperor), i would further use this as evidence for it not being specifically Christianity, he just believed his 'creator' had saved him, and began worshipping him, I very much doubt he believed this person who 'saved' him was Christ. I dont remember the other thing, but wasnt their something about the Church of the Lightning Stone, again whats this got to do with Christianity?

The only reason I believe that BL made it seem similar to Christianity is because most of us can relate in some way to Christianity presently therefore making it slightly more relavent to us.

But dont forget that Christianity isnt the only monotheistic religion, there are several others, all of which worship the God of Abraham.

Tanner MIrabel
22-07-2009, 11:44
It would be a somewhat ironic twist if the Emperor started off those religions in the first place wouldn't it? While I'm sure he couldn't be everywhere and do everything, he did guide help humanity along a path towards the future.

One could imagine that for example, providing Europe and then the Middle East with unifying religions that crossed state borders would have been useful in building up civilisations.

"Mechanicum" states that he seeded the future with prophecies of his own comings and goings, and did in fact found one religion (the Omnissiah).

Master Jeridian
22-07-2009, 13:06
I best get my credentials on the table- I'm an athiest.
As an athiest I wouldn't try to express my views in a short pulp fiction story using a Strawman priest and an All-Powerful Athiest.

The priest is a Strawman, but then as an athiest, all theist arguments seem highly tenuous and lacking in facts or rationality- so I'd be hardpressed to provide thiest arguments in a story beyond the oft used fallacies of:
-It's good for them, true or not.
-Hey, it lets me control them and commit atrocities for my cause.
-I don't want to die, there must be a sky daddy to take me to that farm in the sky.

The fact is, he'd require a full novel sized document to put forward a detailed, extensive argument for and against religion, a book intended to show Space Marines off to 12yr olds (all BL) isn't exactly the best place to put down real world religious views nor would it entertain them for 200pages of the Emp and Strawman Priest drinking wine and discussing.
It's actually harmful to athiesm, IMO, as my thiest friends are already citing it as how poor the athiest argument is (suspiciously deciding not to tackle Richard Dawkins The God Delusion, or Christopher Hitchins God Is Not Great- actual religious debate books).

The religion depicted is almost certainly Christianity in some form, I'm not sure why so many posters vehemontly deny this- it's simply the religion the author is most familiar with (and for some reason the religion that takes the most kicking because Judaism can use the Holocaust defence, and Islam is too damn scary).

Phytrion
22-07-2009, 14:46
It was not Christianity, but some religion which is descended from it, and probably all the monotheistic relgions. The author just used Christian history as the example because they were the references that were probably going to mean the most to the reader, and the ones he probably knew most about himself.


Just to put this to rest, some passages:


'In the name of your religion, a holy man launched a war with the battle cry of "Deus Vult", which means "god wills it" in one of the ancient tounges of Old Earth .... I remember one of their leaders saying that he rode in blood up to the knees and even to his horse's bridle ...

Both of these are obvious references to the first crusade.


...another holy man declared war on a sect of his own church. His warriors laid siege to the sect's stronghold in ancient Franc ... This man, who followed your god, order the warriors to "Kill them all. God will know his own."

Google the phrase "Kill them all god will know his own." That's a reference to a very specific crusade in France.

So ... just to make sure we've set the record straight. It IS Christianity.

Phytrion
22-07-2009, 14:50
It would be a somewhat ironic twist if the Emperor started off those religions in the first place wouldn't it? While I'm sure he couldn't be everywhere and do everything, he did guide help humanity along a path towards the future.

One could imagine that for example, providing Europe and then the Middle East with unifying religions that crossed state borders would have been useful in building up civilisations.

"Mechanicum" states that he seeded the future with prophecies of his own comings and goings, and did in fact found one religion (the Omnissiah).

Wouldn't that be interesting? A flash back to the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus asks God why, and you find out it's the Emperor that's answering him.

@Master J - The simplicity of the arguments (although, again, given the 40k target audience it's kind of understandable), I was disappointed. As someone who is religious, I enjoy reading those kinds of arguments because that's what keeps my faith fresh. I didn't find the argument challenging to what I believed, so I was left disappointed I guess.

massey
22-07-2009, 15:52
The religion depicted is almost certainly Christianity in some form, I'm not sure why so many posters vehemontly deny this- it's simply the religion the author is most familiar with (and for some reason the religion that takes the most kicking because Judaism can use the Holocaust defence, and Islam is too damn scary).

I agree with you here. I don't understand why people are so dead-set against it being Christianity. There are some who come out and say that it absolutely is not, and I just don't get that.

There are good arguments for atheism and for religion. None of them make an appearance in this story.

I've said it before, I think the problem with having the imperfect Emperor is that the betrayal of Horus loses its impact. It's similar to someone getting Worf'ed. We're told that Horus and his buddies commit this great atrocity and make this terrible betrayal, but when we see the Emperor, it doesn't make us feel bad that this guy is sitting in a tomb in the 41st Millenium. Just like in Star Trek, we're told that Worf is tough, but every time some villain appears on the bridge, Worf gets owned. Eventually we stop believing the press clippings.

The Emperor we see isn't just imperfect, he's a tool. We aren't seeing someone great who has a fatal flaw, we're seeing a cosmic jackass. It makes you hate Horus not for turning against him, but for ever working for this guy in the first place. I think it lessens the mythic quality of the story when the Emperor's arguments are the level of a bad guy in an Adam Sandler movie. "Good luck pal, I eat pieces of **** like you for breakfast." "You eat pieces of **** for breakfast?" "....No!"

Nurglitch_PS
22-07-2009, 16:19
There are good arguments for atheism and for religion. None of them make an appearance in this story.


The problem here is that this story is not about the Emperor debating a Christian priest. The story is about author's idealised idea of himself debating author's idea of a Christian priest and beating him hands down in "theological" debate. Thus the Emperor's arguments are lies, misconceptions and plain old bullcrap. It reads like an "omfg gawd suX!" pamphlet put together by a 17yr old. The very idea of such "arguments" staggering a priest and leaving him speechless is laughable. It is a bit of a shame as the story started well, I was beginning to enjoy it (the first well-written one in this sorry book) but then it tumbled downhill degenerating in an eye-blink into this dumb propaganda. Yes, yes, the Inquisition murdered 10000 trillions of feminists, religion is responsible for twenty billions of trillions of deaths a second and so on. And the Emperor brings an end to all this - he will murder 1000 times more, but in the name of science, so it's all right.

People who write SF should stick to SF. No point venturing into history if one doesn't have any idea about it.

massey
22-07-2009, 16:56
The problem here is that this story is not about the Emperor debating a Christian priest. The story is about author's idealised idea of himself debating author's idea of a Christian priest and beating him hands down in "theological" debate.

Well, yeah, I got that impression too. :)

But I could deal with that if it was well written. I can handle a fictional world where ewoks kill stormtroopers, where a snake lady's head can turn people to stone, or where Mr. Burns can be anywhere between 75 and 200 years old depending on the joke. I can handle it if it is well written and makes sense for the story. Unfortunately, this one didn't.

Incognito
22-07-2009, 16:58
Consider that the major Abrahamic religions all worship the same God in different ways, by referencing the atrocities commuted by Jews, Christians, and Muslims the Emperor could mean any of the above Religions. Using the Christian quote to drive home his point.

Consider that only one of those religions used 'Deus Vult' as a rallying cry. Really, I don't understand the blindness towards this aspect of the story as stemming from anything but a vague grasp of history. Graham used extremely specific examples of Medieval Christianity, even referring to a famous massacre of the Cathar heretics ('Kill them all and let God sort them out) as if taken straight from Wikipedia.

So I think people really need to stop pretending it was a vague, encompass-all religion. There is no wriggle room and no subtlety.

What effect it has on the quality of the actual story is debatable. I made a thread about this same subject myself, a month ago, after I finished reading it and it ended up getting locked. So cross your fingers.

Tanner MIrabel
22-07-2009, 17:27
This isn't a very satisfactory point, but consider this: the Emperor might never have needed to develop a sophisticated argument for what he was doing, he is an all-powerful psychic after all.

Emperor: "Hey you, black is white, you get me?"
Numpty: "Oh yes, cool, never noticed that before!"
... Emperor goes away ...
... Numpty 2 arrives ...
Numpty: "Hey did you know black was in fact white?"
Numpty 2: "Who told you that? What are you smoking?"
... civil war ensues ...

Chapter Master Leonidas
22-07-2009, 17:40
Isn't that idea, the coming together of humankind and conquering the stars - just as separate of individual culpability as religion? If

Any idea, whether it's based in religon, science or something else, can be dangerous. Religion has in the past provided tons of excuses to go to war or commit atrocities but one could just as easily kill children en masse because their genes are 'bad' and it's scientifically in the best interest of the race to pass on good genes.

Of course you have to consider the source. The Emperor, doesn't appear to believe in a higher power or a God anyway. This might lead him to believe that religion is the source for a lot of evil - and it can be, and that to unite people under the umbrella of 'knowledge' might be a good, or uncorruptable cause. That's the irony though isn't it? Too much freedom and some of his followers fall to chaos.

Besides which, you also have to consider that the Emperor appears to believe that Humanity has it right, and the rest of the universe must be cleansed for humanity to exist. He's obviously not the moral paragon you might at first believe.

I've personally never bought into the idea that the Emperor is the 'good' guy per se. If the 40k universe were real and I were to exist at the time of the great crusade, I would probably support the effort, because ultimately the ideal is to strengthen humanity right? That doesn't make it any better than anyone else. But in a fictional universe it's easy to make bad guys really bad, and not bad guys not so bad.

Aranel
22-07-2009, 21:02
When reading this story, the first thing that really stood out was the Emperor's arrogance. He was portrayed flawed, very different from the Paragon of virtue many expect. I can understand the opinions of people who deem him a hypocrite for denouncing Religion before embarking on a crusade of unification and eradication. In doing so he causes more death and destruction than Terra's combined faiths could ever match.

However, the 40k universe and our own are not a direct parallel. This is an obvious point but one that is often overlooked. It is a very secular place, full of being with great power, but no Gods. In fact, belief in some of these Gods can be so detrimental that it can threaten humanities actual existance. Whilst the Emperor's world is secular, ours is not. It's capacity for faith is still strong with various religions still very much alive across the globe. The 40k universe can be seen as a parody of our own; an example of what can happen when humanity is divided by belief and faith.

For all his flaws, the Emperor's goal is a lofty one. His desire to enlighten and unite humanity is noble and I for one believe that he does this for his peoples sake not his own gratification. Remember, he spent many years attempting to aid Humanity from the shadows, hoping they could build an utopia for themselves. He rightly realised however, that they could do this whilst divided and that the greatest conflict in the human race is faith. Personally, it saddens me immensly when I look around the world and see conflict between to different groups of people that not only worship the same God, but also believe in a dogma that promotes kindness and love. That man is prepared to kill for different variations of God's word (many of which have been corrupted for various human needs) quite frankly sickens me. I have formulated this opinion in my 22 years on this planet right or wrong. Can you blame a man, who has walked the globe for a thousand lifetimes, who has seen the Greek Sacred Wars, The Massacre at Masada, the slaughterings of Christian slaves in the arena, The 1st Christian capture of Jeruselum, the destruction of the Cathars, The Trial of the Templars, The Witch Hunts; every religious based slaughter up to the Holocaust and beyond from despising the source of humanities constant misery? Can you not understand his impatiance at an old priest who refuses to understand?

Whilst the Emperor is not perfect he is most certainly good. He does what does for the good of humanity.

"The difference is, I know that I am right."
Arrogant, egotisical and ruthless perhaps; but in my eyes, True

Marshal2Crusaders
22-07-2009, 21:48
Consider that only one of those religions used 'Deus Vult' as a rallying cry. Really, I don't understand the blindness towards this aspect of the story as stemming from anything but a vague grasp of history. Graham used extremely specific examples of Medieval Christianity, even referring to a famous massacre of the Cathar heretics ('Kill them all and let God sort them out) as if taken straight from Wikipedia.

So I think people really need to stop pretending it was a vague, encompass-all religion. There is no wriggle room and no subtlety.

What effect it has on the quality of the actual story is debatable. I made a thread about this same subject myself, a month ago, after I finished reading it and it ended up getting locked. So cross your fingers.

No one is denying that example wasn't Christian but unfortunately when you describe atrocities committed by any of the three they could easily be mistaken for one another. Genocide is the same no matter where you pray. What I am saying is whenever anyone does something in God's (Isl.,Chr.,Jud.)name it is no different

weissengel86
22-07-2009, 23:46
My point was rather that such arguments, weak though they seem to us, may have been the best the Emperor and the priest could have come up with. For somebody who has lived for around 40 millenia this doesnt make any sense to me. The Emperor would not have had this excuse.


I mean, look at the unsophisticated arguments provided by the very early medieval theologians, just as Western civilisation was crawling out of the Dark Ages and before the texts of Aristotle and Plato had come back via the Muslim world. If the importance of learning and logical debate have been neglected for centuries, the quality of the arguments available suffers. It is perhaps no wonder, then, that the arguments of people on Terra in M30 seem flimsy to us. This is wrong. If you actually study the so called "Dark Ages" (which is a very misleading description) you will find that far more sophistication and logic existed then people like to think. For one St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, etc. had extremely sophisticated theological arguments that are relevant even today. The people who think the dark ages were filled with superstitious barbarians would not even come close to having the education necessary to understand the intellectual highlights from this age.


All evidence points to it being Christianity. Several people here have tried to dismiss that, saying that it's some generic future religion that bears only passing resemblance, but they're just making things up. Every example the Emperor uses works as a direct reference to Christianity, and there's nothing he uses that is inapplicable to it. So the people who say it's some generic nonspecified religion don't have anything to back them up. I agree it is rather obvious nor do I see the need to deny it either. Im not about to get insulted by such poor arguments.



Both of these are obvious references to the first crusade.

Google the phrase "Kill them all god will know his own." That's a reference to a very specific crusade in France.

So ... just to make sure we've set the record straight. It IS Christianity. Exactly. There is no subtly to be found. Anybody who recognizes these allusions will have no doubt.


The problem here is that this story is not about the Emperor debating a Christian priest. The story is about author's idealised idea of himself debating author's idea of a Christian priest and beating him hands down in "theological" debate. Thus the Emperor's arguments are lies, misconceptions and plain old bullcrap. It reads like an "omfg gawd suX!" pamphlet put together by a 17yr old. The very idea of such "arguments" staggering a priest and leaving him speechless is laughable. It is a bit of a shame as the story started well, I was beginning to enjoy it (the first well-written one in this sorry book) but then it tumbled downhill degenerating in an eye-blink into this dumb propaganda. Yes, yes, the Inquisition murdered 10000 trillions of feminists, religion is responsible for twenty billions of trillions of deaths a second and so on. And the Emperor brings an end to all this - he will murder 1000 times more, but in the name of science, so it's all right.

People who write SF should stick to SF. No point venturing into history if one doesn't have any idea about it. QFT, this is probably the most succint and best description so far of this story. Dont get me wrong I enjoyed reading it for its own reasons but the authors clear and uneducated biases shown through like a blinding light.


When reading this story, the first thing that really stood out was the Emperor's arrogance. He was portrayed flawed, very different from the Paragon of virtue many expect. I can understand the opinions of people who deem him a hypocrite for denouncing Religion before embarking on a crusade of unification and eradication. In doing so he causes more death and destruction than Terra's combined faiths could ever match. Which is exactly why I hold that the emperor merely said what he had to to achieve his goals. Otherwise the emperor turns into an immortal being that uses the crappiest arguments possible. That doesnt make any sense at all for an immortal super powerful being. Therefore it is rather clear that it isnt the Emperor speaking it is the author speaking with a very thinly veiled disguise of the 40k universe.


However, the 40k universe and our own are not a direct parallel. This is an obvious point but one that is often overlooked. It is a very secular place, full of being with great power, but no Gods. In fact, belief in some of these Gods can be so detrimental that it can threaten humanities actual existance. Whilst the Emperor's world is secular, ours is not. It's capacity for faith is still strong with various religions still very much alive across the globe. The 40k universe can be seen as a parody of our own; an example of what can happen when humanity is divided by belief and faith.I would say this is the exact opposite of what 40k really is. Secular is the worst word possible to describe the 40k universe. You can only call it secular by totally redefining what secular means or by A priori deciding that no matter what anything that could be a god is never a god just a "super powerful being". This is nothing more then not understanding what the terms mean. Since when is a person who has psychic powers, immortal lifespan, supreme prescience, and the ability to empower his followers like saints a "mere human"?

That doesnt make any sense at all. There is nothing secular about this universe in any shape or form. How are you going to explain daemons, souls, psychic powers, reincarnation, among other concepts as secular? To me this seems more like a total refusal to allow anything supernatural to exist by simply redefining them as "natural" or whatever else you like to call it.

Phytrion
23-07-2009, 00:37
I have to agree - the best way to describe my problems with the story was that the author came screaming through the characters. It's kind of like the rule that you don't send an email while you're angry - it was if he just got into an argument about religion and sat down and wrote this story.

I think an interesting exercise would be for people to attempt a rewrite of the story with a "better" argument, so to speak.

DantesInferno
23-07-2009, 02:13
For somebody who has lived for around 40 millenia this doesnt make any sense to me. The Emperor would not have had this excuse.

I'm not quite sure why age would guarantee philosophical debating skills. Bit of a non sequitur, isn't it?

Nor, for that matter, are the Emperor's psychic abilities a reliable tracker of his intellect. I certainly don't recall seeing anywhere that powerful psykers are necessarily smart (although they may be able to convince others that they are, of course).

Even though the Emperor has been alive since the start of human civilisation, it doesn't necessarily mean that he'd be able to provide modern (M03) arguments for or against religion. Keep in mind that the Terra of M30 has been living in a Mad Max or Fallout post-apocalyptic state for at least 2 000 years. As I said earlier in the thread, living a few millennia without any form of philosophical stimulation would leave anyone a bit rusty when it comes to rigorous debate...


This is wrong. If you actually study the so called "Dark Ages" (which is a very misleading description) you will find that far more sophistication and logic existed then people like to think. For one St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, etc. had extremely sophisticated theological arguments that are relevant even today. The people who think the dark ages were filled with superstitious barbarians would not even come close to having the education necessary to understand the intellectual highlights from this age.

This may be a case of "your mileage may vary".

I would, however, note that Thomas Aquinas wrote in the 13th century, and so wasn't part of the "Dark Ages" at all. He lived at a critical juncture of western culture when the arrival of the Aristotelian corpus in Latin translation reopened the question of the relation between faith and reason.

In any case, I think it is without doubt that the period between the fall of the (western) Roman Empire and the rediscovery of Greek and Roman texts were indeed 'Dark Ages' for the purposes of philosophical development in the West. One or two famous theologians over the space of 700 years simply doesn't compare to the flourishing of ideas that took place at other points during human history (say, ancient Athens or Enlightenment Europe to the modern day).

And it's also important to note that it's not just the 'highlights' that we're interested in. Aquinas and Augustine may have had sophisticated arguments for the time, but the overall level of intellectual interest and inquiry was low. If you went into the average church, monastery or 'university' in Europe in 800AD, I doubt you'd be able to have anywhere near the level of debate portrayed in 'The Last Church'.

In any case, this is mainly of historical interest: the fact remains that Terra in M30 is even worse than the "Dark Ages" of human history - over several millennia civilisation has collapsed entirely, and the planet is contested by 'techno-barbarians'.

Nurglitch_PS
23-07-2009, 08:22
I'm not quite sure why age would guarantee philosophical debating skills. Bit of a non sequitur, isn't it?

It wouldn't have to, but you wouldn't expect this to be the first debate the Emperor had with a priest, right? And if it was a 100th one, you wouldn't expect him to use arguments on the level of an angry teenager who just read an article in The Times or Guardian and learnt that there were crusades in the past, right? And you wouldn't expect a priest to be cowed by such nonsense, when the only sensible answer would be something to the tune of "gtfo noob".

Thing is... you can't write about a genius being a dumbass. This is a big problem authors have. If you are writing about a military genius and describing his campaigns, you have to be a military genius yourself (this is where Orson Scott Card failed terribly) and not many authors fit the bill. This is again a big problem in the Heresy cycle. The authors have to describe Primarchs, almost divine beings of towering intelect and wisdom. What we get out of that is:
"Oh, hi guise, wanna pwn teh Emperor with me?"
"But his liek our dad and stuff"
"Ya but he sux"
"Ah, ok, lol".
The Primarchs are portrayed as a band of squabbling children that are frankly terrifyingly dumb. The authors would be better off describing them from a distance. And now the Emperor, who is supposed to be a god is portrayed as an angry teenager with taste for fine wine and fine whine. I'm not impressed.

DantesInferno
23-07-2009, 08:50
It wouldn't have to, but you wouldn't expect this to be the first debate the Emperor had with a priest, right? And if it was a 100th one, you wouldn't expect him to use arguments on the level of an angry teenager who just read an article in The Times or Guardian and learnt that there were crusades in the past, right?

It might not be the first debate that the Emperor has had with a priest, it might indeed be his 100th. However, given the apparent decline in religious belief on Terra by M30 and the general post-apocalyptic milieu of the time, it might well be his first philosophical/theological debate for a couple of thousand years. If this were the case, the flimsiness of the Emperor's arguments would not be entirely surprising.

Consider, also, that the Emperor's psychic prowess would mean that he simply didn't need to be a good debater. If the Emperor failed to convince someone to do what he wanted on the validity of his arguments, he will have generally been able to psychically dominate them to do what he wanted anyway. So maybe he's just not that practiced at philosophical argument to begin with?


And you wouldn't expect a priest to be cowed by such nonsense, when the only sensible answer would be something to the tune of "gtfo noob".

A modern priest? No, they can all read The God Delusion for themselves and I'm sure there are Church-approved rebuttals that they can use. Plus modern priests generally have degrees from modern universities, at which they are taught theology and general skills of philosophical inquiry.

A M30 Terran priest, on the other hand? Who knows. The planet's been screwed for millennia, so it's a safe bet that priests aren't getting the same level of education that a modern priest gets. Plus it's unlikely that The God Delusion (or many other books at all!) has survived, so M30 priests aren't likely to have been presented with the arguments against them.


Thing is... you can't write about a genius being a dumbass. This is a big problem authors have. If you are writing about a military genius and describing his campaigns, you have to be a military genius yourself (this is where Orson Scott Card failed terribly) and not many authors fit the bill.

This is assuming that the Emperor was meant to be a genius in the first place, though. From the rest of what we know about the Heresy, it's pretty damn clear that he wasn't infallible. So you clearly have to take what's said by the Ecclesiarchy about him after the Heresy with a grain of salt. All we really know about him is that he was an incredibly powerful psyker who conquered most of the galaxy until his generals turned on him. Certainly doesn't mean that he had to be an amazing Socratic debater.


And now the Emperor, who is supposed to be a god is portrayed as an angry teenager with taste for fine wine and fine whine. I'm not impressed.

The Emperor was turned into a god after his death and against his apparent wishes. While he was alive, things are less clear.

weissengel86
23-07-2009, 10:15
I'm not quite sure why age would guarantee philosophical debating skills. Bit of a non sequitur, isn't it? True but it is also a non sequitor to claim that being in the new "dark ages" has any affect on his philosophical reasoning abilities.


Even though the Emperor has been alive since the start of human civilisation, it doesn't necessarily mean that he'd be able to provide modern (M03) arguments for or against religion. Keep in mind that the Terra of M30 has been living in a Mad Max or Fallout post-apocalyptic state for at least 2 000 years. As I said earlier in the thread, living a few millennia without any form of philosophical stimulation would leave anyone a bit rusty when it comes to rigorous debate... There is no real reason to believe this. 40 millenia of experience is pretty damn well a good indicator of wisdom. You cannot live that long without gaining tremendous insight and wisdom. Hence the problems people have with this story. That was a very poor example of a transcendent immortal super powerful human being. The authors lack of understanding and biases were so glaringly obvious that is was entirely out of place with what the emperor is supposed to be. This defense of his arguments doesn't make any sense. You cant go from saying this shows the emperor is fallible to saying he is an idiot with pathetic arguments. his age doesnt guarantee the abilities to debate and reason but saying that is effectively contradicting the fluff surrounding the emperor nor is it even really believable to say that a being who posseses supreme prescience immortality, immense psychic powers, and thousands of thousands of years of experience would use such poor arguments. I am only 22 and I could cream this kind of reasoning with a minimum of effort. In 30 thousand years I would hope I could do the same especially if i dont physically age past my prime. The period of time or the state of the world has no relevance to somebody like this.


I would, however, note that Thomas Aquinas wrote in the 13th century, and so wasn't part of the "Dark Ages" at all. He lived at a critical juncture of western culture when the arrival of the Aristotelian corpus in Latin translation reopened the question of the relation between faith and reason. Well this is odd because people usually include the crusades in the dark ages which happened in the 11th and 12th centuries. So if Thomas Aquinas wrote in the 13th century he would be included. People more often then not dont even understand what the dark ages were or what time period it supposedly occured. merely changing the dates around doesnt mean anything. This also is not to mention that Aristotelian based logic was commonplace long before Thomas Aquinas.


In any case, I think it is without doubt that the period between the fall of the (western) Roman Empire and the rediscovery of Greek and Roman texts were indeed 'Dark Ages' for the purposes of philosophical development in the West. One or two famous theologians over the space of 700 years simply doesn't compare to the flourishing of ideas that took place at other points during human history (say, ancient Athens or Enlightenment Europe to the modern day). I only listed one or two because Im not about to launch into a comprehensive examination of all theologians from that period in time. That does not at all mean they were the only ones or even close to the only ones. I am just not going to search for hours naming off all the important ones.


And it's also important to note that it's not just the 'highlights' that we're interested in. Aquinas and Augustine may have had sophisticated arguments for the time, but the overall level of intellectual interest and inquiry was low. If you went into the average church, monastery or 'university' in Europe in 800AD, I doubt you'd be able to have anywhere near the level of debate portrayed in 'The Last Church'. [QUOTE=DantesInferno;3791869] This is also wrong. For one the churches were the primary source of learning and almost the sole keepers of the old roman and greek knowledge base. The outside world was far more ignorant of such then the churches were. Therefore people in the churches had more education then the majority of the populace elsewhere not the other way around. This is not really an accurate description of the "dark ages". It is a vast oversimplification that misses the huge panoply of happenings and events and attitudes in the "dark ages". For one the age of "reason" and age of enlightenment came from the church and from people who were devout members of the church.

[QUOTE=DantesInferno;3791869]In any case, this is mainly of historical interest: the fact remains that Terra in M30 is even worse than the "Dark Ages" of human history - over several millennia civilisation has collapsed entirely, and the planet is contested by 'techno-barbarians'. Also true yet is not an excuse for the authors, oops, i mean emperors, poor arguments. Another thing to mention is that the emperor helped develop technology like the primarchs and in mechanicum or other books he is described as being supremely intelligent with a deep understanding of technology and the universe itself. This is totally disjointed from the claim that he became dumber because of being in a world with techno barabarians. If he can remember the technology to help foster the growth of genetically engineered super soldiers and the primarchs or work on the elder webway then there is no good excuse for these arguments to be so bad


A modern priest? No, they can all read The God Delusion for themselves and I'm sure there are Church-approved rebuttals that they can use. Plus modern priests generally have degrees from modern universities, at which they are taught theology and general skills of philosophical inquiry. I am always curious why most people recommend this book. It is by far the worst of its kind. So many better books exist that are far more intelligent or rational then The God Delusion. Try reading Betrand Russell who actually knows what he is talking about and doesn't embarrass himself by trying to describe things he has zero understanding of. The vast majority of Apologists or Theologians consider Dawkins to be a joke.

I fail to understand why people try to justify the arguments used. Especially when explaining it as the emperor being "fallible" as if fallible equals stupid. No fluff has ever stated the emperor was infallible in the first place. The only way to explain it is to see it as merely a part of the emperors grand scheme. Although its hard even then for anyone who possesses a basic amount of knowledge of philosophy and religion.

I agree with Nurglitch about how when authors portray somebody as something they had better do plenty of research or know a good deal about the subject. Otherwise you end up failing miserably because you cannot create a realistic depiction of such a scenario or character. The author would have of been way better off sticking with what he knew best and subject he was more educated in. Somebody who never has been in the military or even studied it becomes glaringly obvious when they write about that subject even in fiction.

Master Jeridian
23-07-2009, 15:28
Somebody who never has been in the military or even studied it becomes glaringly obvious when they write about that subject even in fiction.

That would shut down Black Library.

Plus most Space Marine fiction would have them sitting and waiting with dysentary most of the time.

Condottiere
23-07-2009, 16:53
That's why they're pumped full of antibiotics.

Iuris
23-07-2009, 18:29
The argument is made in favor or opposition of religion in general. The emperor lumps them all in one big mess. The religion of the priest was, insofar as I could determined, a new one, with elements of previous ones (just like they all do), but mostly one started by the emperor himself - the priest got religion after meeting the emperor.

As for the arguments: real life arguments would not work in 40k universe. The knowledge of psykers and the warp would make for a much different argument compared to our world where we have no evidence of anything supernatural existing at all.

P.S. Science and god are not opposite concepts. In a universe with a god, science can scientifically study god - not by interpreting a book, but by observation and experiment. You get a science that gives a predictable answer to "how do I get god on my side?" "how many sheep do I have to sacrifice to get my prayer answered" and so on.

massey
23-07-2009, 19:40
The argument is made in favor or opposition of religion in general. The emperor lumps them all in one big mess. The religion of the priest was, insofar as I could determined, a new one, with elements of previous ones (just like they all do), but mostly one started by the emperor himself - the priest got religion after meeting the emperor.

No, the priest himself got religion when he met the Emperor. But the religion itself was pre-existing.


P.S. Science and god are not opposite concepts. In a universe with a god, science can scientifically study god - not by interpreting a book, but by observation and experiment. You get a science that gives a predictable answer to "how do I get god on my side?" "how many sheep do I have to sacrifice to get my prayer answered" and so on.

Depends on what type of god you're talking about. The tradition big-G God from Judaism is beyond human comprehension by definition. So that's not really something you can study. Plus, you've got the issue of dealing with a sentient being, anyone who has ever had a girlfriend can tell you there's no scientific answer to "how many flowers do I have to buy her to get her to not be mad at me anymore".

Aranel
23-07-2009, 21:17
I'm sorry Weissengal, i should have been more specific. Mankinds perspective of the Galaxy at the dawning of the great crusade is a very secular one, enforced by the Emperor's teachings. The deification of the Chaos powers is in my opinion still up for serious debate as many describe them simply as very puissant Xenos. The Emperor is not calling a crusade of religious zealotry, but a contentious effort to reunite the lost strands of humanity and protect his people. Despite the egotistical and ruthless nature in which this was done, the Emperor's motivations are completely free of any ideology or dogma. The crusade and mankind in general are undeniably secular, the only idealogy being clung to is the scientific imperial truth.

FlashGordon
23-07-2009, 21:34
"church of the lightningstone" page 323 >not church of christ.

"church of the lightningstone" page 328 >same

and on many other occasions the same.

"That book is nine centuries old...tranlated and twisted to fit the needs of hundreds mostly anonymous... authors" page 341
> if it would be christianity it would certainly be more centuries old(the bible has been tinkered with for 10-15 centuries or more, so far) ergo: the religion cannot be directly christian but probably an abberation from it and has probably gone through many revision etc to meet the needs of people. And therefore this book must be a new holy book and thus not "christian".

But i guess people here will say that it is a miss of the author "case closed".